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News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna Lee. Breaking news reports. New.

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Benghazi 49, Us 17, Cia 11, America 10, Libya 10, Fbi 9, Clinton 9, Washington 8, U.s. 8, Petraeus 7, David Petraeus 7, Toyota 6, Obama 6, Syria 6, Mccain 5, Israel 4, Afghanistan 4, Jenna 4, Southern Israel 4, U.n. 4,
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  FOX News    Happening Now    News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna  
   Lee. Breaking news reports. New.  

    November 14, 2012
    8:00 - 10:00am PST  

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we're learning he will testify about libya this week. more on that as we get it. plus the lessons learned from one of the most important voting blocs this election year. we'll have a conversation on that. and a small plane crashes into a house and bursts into flames. why? it's all "happening now." jenna: brand new developments on the scandal absorbing new headlines today. we're glad you're with us. i'm jenna lee. rick: i'm rick folbaum in for jon scott. fox news learning exclusively that the former cia chief will testify about the benghazi terror attacks before house and senate committees. jenna: a major development. friday he stepped down as america's top spy when he admitted to having an affair with his biographer, paula broadwell. we're expected to get comments about the growing scandal when he open has his
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first news conference since re-election. that will happen in two hours and we'll have it when it does. doug mckelway is live for us. doug? >> reporter: former cia director david petraeus voluntarily agreed to testify before house and senate intelligence committees. fox has learned he will speak off site on friday to the senate intelligence committee about the libya report. presumably that it means his testimony will be closed and not open to the public. recall that director petraeus briefed intelligence committees on september 14th, three days after the benghazi attack and said that the attack was akin to a flashmob that is explanation moments ago chairman of the house homeland security committee peter king suggested may have been dishonest. >> i was just talking to frank lobioni on the intelligence committee with me, documents we see, intelligence prior to general petraeus coming in,
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it is impossible to believe that he thought he was giving honest testimony. >> reporter: while not going that far other members of the intelligence committees want answers from petraeus. >> does make you wonder because the cia has now reported they knew pretty much from the beginning this was an al qaeda-inspired terrorist attack. does make you wonder why general petraeus made the comments a couple days later and why the administration continued to say this was related to a horrible video and a protest when we know there was never a protest there. so it does show that in light of what we know now about general petraeus and the affair that there are huge questions and was there some compromise early on? >> reporter: senator john mccain has also called for a select water gaet-style attack. senator carl levin says such a committee is not necessary. also troubling why the fbi did not alert congress about
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the petraeus's extramarital affair. they say they have protocols when it notifies the legislative and executive branches. jenna: good information for us doug, thank you. we have more on this now. rick: more on benghazi and the testimony we're expecting to hear from general petraeus. we're joined by charlie hirt, a columnist at "the washington times." this will behind closed doors as doug was reporting. i wonder how much of this information is going to get out? certainly the public wants to hear if general petraeus is going to change his story at all? >> certainly i can understand why they chose to make it behind closed doors because it would be the most watched testimony of any hearing i think probably in the last couple years on capitol hill. but it is curious. i don't know what their the real explanation they're going to have to give for why they would put it behind closed doors because in addition to all the sordid and tawdry details that people are hearing about now,
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and that sort of making people curious about the case, there are a lot of serious, serious questions that have to be answered not the least of which, doug mckelway pointed out, are these questions about, about his own testimony earlier about whether the benghazi attack was inspired by the film or whether it was a larger terrorist attack which is pretty clear we now know it was. rick: the soap opera elements aside, charlie, if we're just looking at this, the other question is whether or not the cia's director own knowledge of being investigated by the fbi could have been in any way colored or influenced, his testimony when he did talk about this being a flashmob? that's a big question right there? >> absolutely, rick. i think that quite frankly is the most important question and probably the first question that popped into a lot of people's mind when this all came out and became clear all of this was sort of in play and known before the election but they
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waited until two days after election for it all to come out. that is, you know, was general petraeus in any way sort of under pressure or under duress or giving poor testimony because of all this that was swirling around him either due to direct pressure or just due to the fact, my goodness, what a horrible situation for him to be in knowing that you know, he had the world viewed him with this sterling career and it was going to end in a matter of days or weeks and he was going to become sort of, the pinch line for, you know for several, his career will probably be most remembered for this instead of any of the good things. rick: he has got some repair work to do on his reputation. i wonder if this testimony he is about to deliver on friday, now unburdened by the constraints of his old job, no longer a member of the obama administration, if
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he might be a little more free to talk about what he really knows about what happened in libya? >> i think it's a great point but know, rick, that would be even worse because it would suggest that he did sort of cave to pressure in the previous testimony. so, if he does anything to change any of it, i think that, that it becomes that much more serious. quite frankly i think it becomes sort of indefensible for the intelligence committee to protect, you know, the intelligence community from that sort of scrutiny and from making this stuff public. i just, i can not understand what the justification would be for them to not let this stuff become public just because of the soap opera angle to all of it. rick: charlie hirt, columnist with the "washington times." charlie, thanks so much. >> thanks, rick. jenna: this just in. lawmakers hearing testimony now on capitol hill trying to get to the bottom of that
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deadly meningitis outbreak we've been talking so much about that was linked to contaminated steroid shots from a massachusetts pharmacy. those shots and what was inside them killed more than 30 people, sickened at least 440 across 19 states. jonathan serrie has been on this since the beginning. he is joining us live in atlanta with more. jonathan? >> reporter: hi, jenna. i'm watching this hearing right now. it is trying to get to the bottom of the question whether this meningitis outbreak could have been prevented either by improved oversight or improved procedures at the new england compounding center. members of the energy commerce committee, subcommittee on oversight and investigations will be looking at the facts surrounding this outbreak as well as the history of complaints at necc and its affiliated companies. here is what the chairman said in his opening comments. listen. >> after a tragedy like this the first question we all ask, could this have been prevented? after an examination of
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documents produced by the massachusetts board of pharmacy and the u.s. food and drug administration, the answer appears to be yes. >> reporter: the committee opened with testimony from joyce lovelace. she is the widow of kentucky circuit judge eddie lovelace who died after receiving injections of steroid back pain medication produced by necc. she put a human face on one of the statistics saying quote, i can't begin to tell you what i have lost, my soulmate, my partner. words can't describe, end quote. the committee also called on the president of necc, barry caden. in fact he is on the stand right now. he tried to invoke his fifth amendment rights, he is refusing to testify. the committee is still going on the panel asking him question after question and in response each time he invokes his fifth amendment rights not to testify. the committee hearing continues.
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jenna, back to you. jenna: hopefully there are answers that serve us eventually. jonathan, thank you. >> reporter: certainly. rick: coming up a suspect arrested in a terrible plot. you will not believe he who he wanted to target. the investigation into a tragic plane crash that killed three people. when you find out where that flight was going this story gets even more incredible aft live report straight ahead.
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rick: now some crime stories we're keeping an eye on for you this wednesday. we're getting word police have called off an am bare alert for a teenager in washington state. they found briana troyer with the sex offender she took off with yesterday. her father is the spokesperson for the sheriff's department. she is okay. police are investigating. a colorado man is in custody planning two shocking attacks. first he wanted to kill president obama and wanted
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to go on a shooting rampage, shooting students at a high school on halloween. an ohio driver wraps up a creative sentence handed down by a judge, forced to stand on a corner and hold a sign that says, quote, only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus. i think you can guess what she was convicted of. her license was also suspended for 30 days. jenna: this just in, a tragic plane crash claims three lives. investigators with the national transportation safety board are head towing the site of this crash in mississippi. those on the plane were headed to an faa safety conference of all things. elizabeth prann has details from atlanta. tell us a little more about this. what do we know about the crash and those involved? >> reporter: jenna we know the three men victims of the plane crash were actually pilots. they were taking a 30--mile trip to the faa safety conference. just as you mentioned when witnesses say shortly after taking off from hawkins field air report in jackson,
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mississippi, the single engine plane started spitting and sputtering almost out of gas before it went down in a blast of fire and smoke. it crashed into the home of loretta jamison who escaped by jumping out of a window. she was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. she is being treated at a local burn center. we did hear from a relative shortly after the accident. take a listen. >> by that time i hung up the phone and i was here within two minutes. when i got here. they wouldn't let me through but i was screaming my fiance name because i was distraught. >> reporter: the owner of the plane roger latham was supposed to be on board but changed plans at the last minute to go hunting with his family. jenna: looked like the plane was out of gas in the air and sputtering sort of twisting around. what is the latest on the investigation? >> reporter: investigators are headed to jackson now. we know that they're interviewing local police and firefighters. it will be some time before
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we get answers because obviously it is under investigation however we are hearing from the owner of that plane, latham said she had the piper pa-32 for more than two years. it was in quote, mint condition, but it had been parked in a hangar for more than a month. they wanted to take it on a short 30-mile flight before taking on a planned trip to gulf shores, alabama. the pilot made contact with airport officials shortly after taking off. he was trying to get back obviously to the airport but didn't make it in time. jenna: sad story, elizabeth, thank you. rick: when we come back, do you drive a toyota? another recall from that carmaker. the second in less than two months. the problems now popping up with one of their more popular models. we'll tell you about it live. plus the scandal that brought down the ci past chief and has the top u.s. commander in afghanistan under investigation. we'll talk about how our allies are reacting to that
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rick: right now, new troubles for toyota as the car begins to recall one of its popular models. patti ann browne live in the newsroom with the details. >> toyota will recall 2.77 million vehicles worldwide including some of its popular prius hybrid cars. they say there are steering and water pump problems. it is the carmaker's second multimillion-dollar recall, vehicle recall in a little over a month. toyota says the defects have caused no accidents and can be fixed in an hour or so but this could cost hundreds of millions of dollars for toyota to repair, at least according to one auto analyst. while the recall is widespread, the flaws are considered less serious than in previous recalls in 2009 and 2011. in those, unintended acceleration problems in toyota vehicles were the suspected cause of fatal
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crashes in the united states. toyota this year recaptured the crown of the world's top automaker after last year's natural disasters which temporarily disrupted production in japan and thailand. this latest recall involves fixing a steering component that could be damaged by wear and tear and replacing water pumps on 630,000 gasoline electric hybrid vehicles. rick. >> patti ann browne in the newsroom, thanks. jenna: new fallout from the scandal involving former cia chief david petraeus. the impact now felt really around the world as secretary of state hillary clinton and defense secretary leon panetta both say our nato's allies aren't worried this investigation will hurt our mission in afghanistan in any way. joining us john bolton, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and fox news contributor. ambassador, nice to see you again. >> good morning. glad to be with you, jenna. jenna: let's talk about when hillary clinton and leon panetta had to say. based on your experience,
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ambassador, overall what are the effects of personal scandal in international relations? is there any sort of fallout we should be watching? >> i think there can be fallout but at this point i think it would be premature to jump to any conclusions because the circumstances we're talking about are not full le known. i think one of the reasons that secretary panetta in particular has been at pains to say that general allen still has his confidence even though his nomination to head up the european command has been put on hold is because he is still in theater in afghanistan. i think general petraeus's problems are a little bit more remote although they could have an impact depending on what else comes out about perhaps breaches of security of documents and things given to the lady the general is having his affair with. jenna: that remains to be seen. let's take a step back and look at the picture overall. we have our two top generals
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military officials in a time of war under investigation or having been under investigation. our secretary of state and defense secretary abroad in australia at this time. what do you think is the message that is being sent about american leadership overall? >> well, unfortunately i think it's the same message that has been sent for much of the past four years. i just don't think the president has demonstrated the extent of involvement interest, even and focus and attention that a president should display toward threats to national security. it's been a very passive, lackadaisical administration, not concerned with threats around the world except when it had no choice but to confront them. i think this disarray unfortunately is not untypical of the administration as a whole. i think what could worry our friends and allies is this is what we've seen for four years. this is what we'll see for four more years. jenna: that said the president is holding his first news conference today, if you will, he can reset
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what his next four years will look like. what do you think his message should be, not only to the country but to the world about the events of the last week or so? >> well i think he needs to demonstrate that he's on top of things. presumably he has some explanation why he didn't hear about the petraeus affair even though his attorney general eric holder was told about it in the late summer. and he needs to be able to demonstrate that he will move quickly to nominate a successor to general petraeus to help get the cia back in order and he is going to figure out what he will do with the nomination of general allen which in many respects having gone public with the potential problem there is just inexplicable. if they had a problem, they should have resolved it quickly without going public but he will have to answer for that too. jenna: i mentioned where secretary clinton and secretary panetta are today. meantime we're getting all the different reports that potentially senator kerry could be rumored to be the
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next defense secretary and susan rice still considered potentially for secretary of state. your thoughts on either of those individuals taking a more prominent role in the president's cabinet? >> let me first say a word in defense of secretary clinton and secretary panetta being in australia. this is for an annual meeting. and i think it is very important that we demonstrate solidarity with the australians the fact they're out of town shouldn't be concerning. on these potential nominations i have to say i have clashed with senator kerry many times over the years on policy you about i have to say in all those years i have never seen him demonstrate the slightest interest in going to the defense department. i think he clearly wants to be secretary of state and, it may be that the president decided he wants susan rice to have that job and he is giving senator kerry the defense department as a consolation prize which would not be a terribly good signal. jenna: ambassador, always nice having you on the program. thank you so much. >> thank you, jenna. rick: new suggestions today
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that president obama is adamant that tax cuts for the wealthy will go away. we are waiting for a presidential news conference as jenna just mentioned ahead of friday's high-stakes talks with congressional republicans the some lawmakers say they will not budge on tax cuts for all. what does it mean for the potential economic mess known as the fiscal cliff? a fair and balanced debate straight ahead. plus a crazy scene caught on camera. why this car goes airborne. what happened? the shocking details straight ahead. ♪
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call today. ♪ rick: "happening now", president obama saying that most small businesses would not be affected by an increase on top tax rates under his plan. republicans saying that a tax hike specifically would hit small business owners. so who's right? here to fact check the potential increases liz macdonald from the fox business network. hi, elizabeth. >> good to be with you. the president has said this about his tax hikes hurting small businesses quote, 97% of small businesses will not be affected by tax hikes. in other words 97% of small businesses fall under the 250,000 threshold the president says that will not be affected. however that 97% of small businesses include people who don't hire workers. for example, it includes individuals who sell whatever they can on ebay and report that income to the irs as small business income. here is how the tax hikes will hit small businesses that report earnings on
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federal income tax returns. the president wants to raise income taxes plus capital gains and dividend tax rates and the president wants to phase out exemptions and deductions for the upper brackets. also, health reform will raise taxes on investment income that could hurt small businesses too. now according to the joint committee on taxation nearly 940,000 small businesses will be subject to these tax hikes that would take effect on january 1st, 2013. that means nearly a million small businesses will be affected when you add in health reform tax hikes too. irs says more than $600 billion small business income could have gone to create jobs will instead be hit with higher taxes. specifically according to a new study by the accounting firm ernst & young, the tax hikes wipe out 700,000 jobs in small businesses across the country and increase unemployment by 0.5%. it would cause real after tax wages to fall 1.8%,
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triggering a decline in workers living standards. that's what ernst & young says. the accounting firm also found u.s. fdp would fall 1.3% or by $200 million billion. the president's tax hike could hit a large range of small businesses ernst & young says. they employ 54% of the private sector workforce but pay 44% of federal business income taxes. ernst & young says, quote, higher marginal tax rates will result in a smaller u.s. economy, fewer jobs, less investment, and lower wages. back to you, guys. rick: liz macdonald. you hear talking points from both sides. we want to try to get down and drill to the facts. you have the president drawing a new line in the sand according to a lot of headlines this morning with plans to open up friday's fiscal cliff negotiations with absolutely no concessions on the table and far more in new taxes than republicans have said they're willing to even consider. so we have some breaking news. we'll get to that in a
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minute. jenna. jenna: i guess we'll go down live to d.c. now. we're waiting a press conference. there is senator mccain, ayotte and graham talking about the future of the benghazi investigation. let's take a listen. >> establish such a select committee and we will urge the senate leadership to act on it as soon as possible. while we await the findings and recommendations of the administration's internal review of the benghazi attack, it is essential for the congress to conduct its own independent assessment. let me be clear. there is no credibility amongst most of us concerning the administration and the numerous controversies and contradictions that have been involved in their handling of this issue. it is essential for the congress to conduct its own independent assessment. several different committees of jurisdiction in both the house and senate are calling briefings, planning hearings and reviewing portions of this case. we believe that the complexity and gravity of
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this matter warrant the establishment of a temporary select committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved which cut across multiple executive agencies and legislative committees. the select committee is needed to answer more than two months after the benghazi attack there is still many unanswered questions. among them, why was the security of the consulate so inadequate despite two previous attacks on that facility in april and june of this year? an assassination attempt on the british ambassador in benghazi around the same time. did the presence -- president's national security staff make him aware of these attacks and if they did, why didn't he take the lead which is the president's responsibility to insure that our consulate in benghazi was better fortified and our people there better protected? what actions if any were taken to respond to a classified cable that was allegedly
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sent from our embassy in libya back to the state department on august 16th, stating there were numerous armed groups in benghazi that posed a threat to the security of the consulate in benghazi and that that consulate could not survive a sustained attack like the one that eventually occurd a month later at the hands of one of these militia groups? what action if any did secretary clinton take in response to these repeated warnings from her people on the ground including ambassador stevens in his final official message before his death? why were repeated requests for security in libya apparently turned down by officials in the state department? on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in american history, and after multiple attacks this year on our consulate in benghazi and other western interests there, why were u.s. armed forces in the region not ready and positioned to respond rapidly to what was
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a relatively foreseeable emergency? why did senior administration officials seek to blame a spontaneous demonstration for the attack in benghazi when it was later acknowledged that no protest even occurred in benghazi and that the station chief in tripoli was apparently reporting back in the first 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack? why did president obama insist that he label the events in benghazi as an act of terrorism on september 12th, and then emphasize that in his second debate with governor romney? and we now know in an interview with "60 minutes" on the sail day he explicitly refused to characterize the attack this way? and he then spent nearly two weeks putting the emphasis on a spontaneous protest to a hateful video including in his address to the united
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nations on september 25th? why did our ambassador to the united nations in interviews five days after the attack also try to blame on the hateful video when it was clear from the earliest hours of the attack that it was sophisticated, that it was a sophisticated offensive? that no protest ever occurred outside of our consulate in benghazi and if ambassador rice was relying on intelligence assessments as she insists, why were those assessments so dramaticly at odds with the earliest reports from our people on the ground? most importantly, why does the administration still appear to have no policy to deal with the fact that al qaeda and affiliated groups have established sanctuaries in eastern libya, a country that we helped to liberate and which elected pro-american government that is eager for our assistance? this is perhaps the most troubling question of all.
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the pattern of violent extremist activity in eastern libya was well-documented by our intelligence community for months, leading up to the attacks of september 11th, 2012. the threat reporting was extensive, and yet the administration seems to have done little to support our many libyan friend and partners who did not overthrow qaddafi only to see al qaeda still eighted terrorists and militias overtake large parts of their country? the american people deserve answers to these and other questions related to the benghazi attack and congress has a unique and constitutional role to play in getting to the truth of this matter as well as compiling the lessons of this tragedy so it's not repeated. ambassador chris stevens was doing everything we want our diplomats doing. he was getting outside the wire to advance america's interests and values in our increasingly dangerous
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world. while we want to encourage that kind of diplomacy we also want our fellow citizens who engage in this important work to know that their government is taking every reasonable step to insure their safety. for the sake of the families of those four brave americans who sacrificed their lives, they and the american people deserve answers. the only way they will get those answers in a comprehensive and cohesive and believable fashion is through the establishment of a select committee. >> if we don't appoint a select committee, we're going to make a huge mistake as a body. general petraeus has now indicated he will testify before the intelligence committee. that is likely to be in a classified setting, i don't know. but i do know this. that we're likely to call leon panetta and general ham and others in the armed services committee and i believe that the foreign
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relations committee would want to hear from secretary clinton and all those who are responsible for consulate security. the problem is that the three committees will not be able to hear what the other groups are saying. i'd like to ask general petraeus some questions. and i'm sure there are people on the intel committee would like to hear what the department of defense has to say about their handling of the benghazi attack. and when it comes to the state department all of us would like to know why were there so many, so many requests for additional security denied? in the august 15th cable back to washington where chris stevens is telling secretary clinton, we've identified 10 al qaeda militia groups in benghazi. two of the 10 we now suspect were involved in the attack and in the final paragraph or close to the final paragraph the cable says, if there is a coordinated attack against the consulate, we can not defend it. so four americans are dead. the first ambassador is killed in 33 years in the line of duty. i think this is a symptom of
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a greater problem in the middle east quite frankly. for those reasons i think it is important that the congress pick a process that is rational, logical and will get to the truth the best we're able to discern what the truth is. conspiracy theories are running rampant. how many of you are getting calls about, have you heard this, have you heard that? a segmented stovepipe investigation where you have three different committees going off in three different directions not comparing notes, not being able to do this in an organized fashion is going to lead to failure. it is not going to the result in the quality product we need to dispel unfounded conspiracy theories, unfair accusations, and most importantly it will not lead to the work product to hold people accountable for what i think is a national security debacle, long in the making, should have been avoided. so that is why i am urging democrats and republicans to put aside any partisanship
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we may have in this new congress on benghazi and find a way forward. dianne feinstein has been terrific. it is not that i don't trust diane. she is doing a great job but she can not know what the armed services committee may find out in this important that we all know about what's going on here. so i think if there was ever a time in recent history for the congress to follow models that we have used in the past it is benghazi. watergate investigation benefited from a joint select committee. iran-contra benefited from a select committee. i think finding the truth about benghazi is only possible if you combine the resources of these three committees and do it in a professional manner. if we go down this segmented stovepipe road we're going to fail the american people and not have really any hope of getting the truth out. >> when four brave americans
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are murdered as a result of a terrorist attack there's nothing more american or more important responsibility than members of congress have to get to the bottom of it and frankly right now where we are we have more questions than answers and the answers that we have gotten because it has been given in a disjointed fashion from the administration, answers we have, have raised more questions. they have been inconsistent with each other and at times, they have provided misimpressions and misstatements to the american people about the nature of the attacks that occurred that resulted in the deaths of our four brave americans and so if anying cries out for the establishment of a select committee we're going to continue on this path of all of you and the american people receiving disjointed information if we do not establish this select
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committee because three important committees of this body have very clear jurisdiction over this. certainly the senate foreign relations committee. certainly if you look at the senate armed services committee and the intelligence committee, all of the questions that senator mccain outlined before, after and during, they intersect in some way in those three committees and if we don't bring this investigation together, the american people are going to still continue to ask these very important questions and we owe it to the american people to make sure that we understand exactly what happened, what went wrong. why couldn't the greatest military in the world respond when an attack occurred almost over a seven-hour period? and why were there, at a minimum, misstatements made and certainly misimpressions given to the american people about the nature of this attack in the immediate
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explanations provided by the administration in the two weeks following the attack? and so i'm hopeful too that we will work on a bipartisan basis. if we do this in a stovepipe fashion, i think we need to look at what, when we've had prior experiences, what is it that we took from 9/11? when we do things in a stovepipe fashion we have people going across in different ways but we don't have the complete picture. that is why this particular set of events, given what has happened, given the importance of this to the american people, warrants this type of committee, and i'm hopeful that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will work with us to make sure it is a bipartisan committee, to make sure that the full nature of the committee investigates all of the circumstances surrounding it. we've got to do it so we can make sure this never happens again. >> [inaudible].
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>> general petraeus as you know will be testifying before the intelligence committee. i would think that, obviously he would be a very important witness before a select committee. we on the armed services committee also have an interest in what general petraeus has to say with this overlap of why we didn't have forces there who were ready to respond and questions like that. so there's significant overlap. and so, watergate nobody died and iran-contra nobody died. i think it's very clear that there will be some resistance. there was resistance to the 9/11 commission that senator lieberman i had the resolution of. there was resistant to the
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watergate commission. there was resistance to the iran-contra. the party in power never likes to have a select committee but i'm hopeful that the american people will demand it and, i am guardedly optimistic that they will achieve that goal. the families deserve it among other people. do you want to say anything? yeah. could i just --. >> [inaudible]. >> no, it's, it's a military presence? why weren't there forces there ready to respond on september 11th after there have been numerous, series of information that there is very likely to be an attack, especially on september 11th? what were the forces deployed in the region? there's, all three branches of government have a very significant role, three branches, defense,
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intelligence, and state, have a significant role. >> [inaudible]. >> well there were cia people. there was an ambassador that died. isn't that convincing enough for you, that an ambassador was killed whose last message to the state department, last message, was that he was concerned about the security? the guy who told me on election day, july 7th, when i was in tripoli they were deeply concerned about security? it is the state department had to approve of the security, not the cia. >> and let's also not forget, i think it is incredibly important that before the committee not only do we have the testimony of general petraeus but also the testimony of secretary clinton because she was very forthcoming and came forward and said, i take responsibility for this. we need to understand the
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nature of, we know there were cables, requests made from the state department officials asking for enhanced security. and so that's why you can see where this investigation has to be looked at in a complete fashion rather than in a stovepipe manner. >> but you asked a good question. there is a "wall street journal" article where the basic state department, somebody in the state department, said, you know, petraeus didn't go to the funerals of the two guys killed. there was a secret agreement they were in charge of security because it was mostly a cia operation under state department cover. well, that is obviously somebody in the state department is trying to say when it comes to security it was their job, not ours. well, here's what somebody needs to ask. if that were so why did the people on the ground not know that? why did the cables go to the state department, not to the cia? why did everybody in benghazi believe that their
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help, if they were getting help it would come from the state department. they obviously didn't know about the secret agreement. i think that is bunch of hogwash. this is why you need a select committee because the cia is giving you a timeline that we responded johnny-on-the-spot. remember that story? that makes no sense to me either. if you have these people in separate rooms telling separate storesy trying to blame each other it will fall through the cracks. the idea that the state department has no responsibility for securing the consulate because the cia was present in benghazi would be news to the people who were there in the state department. >> [inaudible] .
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>> that's a judgment that people made at the time and i respect their judgment. my judgment at this time is four americans were killed and the information that u.n. ambassador conveyed was clearly false. it was overwhelming evidence that it was completely false and she should have known what the situation, circumstances were and not tell the world on all sunday morning talk shows, i was on one show and right after that the libyan president of the national assembly said no, it was an al qaeda attack? did she even listen to them? all i can say everybody makes their own judgment. we have made ours. >> if i could add, why did you pick her to tell us about benghazi? what does she have to do with benghazi? did anybody ask her for additional security? she is the united nations ambassador. did she know that in august 15th there was a memo coming out of benghazi saying we
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can't defend this place if we're attacked by al qaeda? by the way there are 10 groups here? did she know the place was bombed in june? did the american president, barack obama, know that we had been attacked device? how could she say five days later definitely there is no evidence of a coordinated al qaeda attack when there is a ream of evidence. when it comes to condoleezza rice, there we were not only country that thought we were get he was getting weapons of mass destruction the. this is the role she played, and story coming out of the administration and she is the point person is so disconnected to reality that i don't trust her. the reason i don't trust her because i think she knew better and if she didn't know better she should not be the voice of america. somebody has to pay a price around this place. back to the bush administration, when we went to iraq and we came saying
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there are a few more dead-enders here. what they're telling you the bush situation telling you about security in iraq doesn't match what we see. i voted against general casey because i didn't think he deserve to be promoted after the way he did his job in iraq. i don't think she deserves to be promoted. there are a lot of qualified people in this country the president could pick but am dead set making sure we don't promote anybody that was an essential player in the benghazi debacle. >> i just finally say, after we came back from tripoli, we wrote a piece in "the wall street journal" outlying exactly what we needed to do. most of that information we got guess who from? chris stevens, who was obviously ignored. if they would have taken the measures that we recommended and outlined maybe the scenario might have been a little different because they obviously didn't pay any attention. yes, sir? >> [inaudible].
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>> the state department probes the state department. the state department probes the state department. we want to probe everybody involved all the way up to and including the president of the united states. >> [inaudible]. >> we would leave that up to the, to negotiations but obviously we would want it not to be too big. we would want representation from all of the committees, people who are respected and regarded. there is ample precedent for this. >> [inaudible] [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible]. >> well i say with great respect that is one of the dumbest questions i ever heard, all right? there are four dead americans. there is four dead americans. not a socialite, not a socialite. i'm answering your question. do you want me to answer your question or interrupt? which do you want? okay. there are four dead americans. their lives of other americans were put in jeopardy. this is a matter of four dead americans. i think that the other issue raised is very serious and i think it deserves a thorough and complete investigation but it does not rise to the level of an attack on american consulate that took four american lives. and i'm sorry if i was --. >> [inaudible]. >> i think certainly a national security issue but int doesn't rise to the
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level of four dead americans. >> [inaudible]. >> pardon me? >> [inaudible]. >> i think any security brief could threaten more, but the fact is there are four dead. go ahead. >> do you agree this story is getting weirder by the day? okay. there is the weird and the strange and the human failings in one camp. and there is a legitimate question about national security being breached in the other camp. the goal of this investigation is to have professional staff that hears everyone testify the same set of senators who hears everyone testify so can segregate out the weird from the national security. and there is beginning to be a national security component to the human failings that i want to know about and i agree with john. we have got four dead americans. but at the end of the day who knows where this thing is going to go? and my hope is when we tell the american people this was
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a human failing, not a national security component of it, that we'll have a process that will give them confidence that republicans and democrats can say together. we looked at this together. we looked at in a professional coordinated fashion. and here's the difference between a human failing and national security breakdown. the current process, and since you cover me, i like you, i don't want to associate myself with john, being he is from south carolina, but the bottom line is, this process, this process has to give the public confidence that we know the difference between a human failing and, error of judgment and a national security breach and i'm telling you right now if we don't have a select committee we're going to fail to get the answer that is the american people deserve and the process that we're involved in today is too disjointed to get to the truth and i'm begging my colleagues, don't call it
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watergate if that makes you mad, makes you upset, call it the 9/11 commission inquiry, call it the iraq study group. we're putting examples on the table where there were select committees around republican failures. this is of a failure of a democratic administration that affects more than democrats so let's get to the bottom of it. >> i didn't know that you covered senator graham. that was one of the smartest questions i ever heard. >> [inaudible]. >> thank you. yes? >> [inaudible]. >> let's see, let's see what happens here but we will do whatever is necessary to block the nomination that's within our power as far as susan rice is concerned. >> [inaudible]. >> no. i just said, i don't even know whether he will be nominated or not but we certainly would go through the normal process in his case.
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>> let's also not forget, i think you all appreciate, you don't end up on every single major sunday show without affirmatively putting yourself out there of wanting to carry forward a message on behalf of the administration. and i think there's a certain responsibility with the current position that she has to ask proper questions about what we did and didn't know at that point before she goes on and affirmatively puts herself out there on every single major network to communicate to the american people and these are serious questions that have to be answered. how could we, where we are right now, be able to place our trust in her without her, certainly at a minimum, her explaining what happened there? >> on that point, separate what happened -- [inaudible] do you have concerns about her qualifications? if you were to remove what happened -- >> we have concerns, they had concerns about them obviously but i mean that's what the advice and consent
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process is all about. >> [inaudible]. >> we don't know. that's why we have hearings. that's why we have debate. that's why we have the normal process of the senate's constitutional responsibility of advice and consent. >> i don't think we're doing very well in the u.n. quite frankly. done a pretty good job in libya but since then china and russia is walking all over us. i am not sure she is the strongest advocate. i think she is more political operative more than anything else when it comes to benghazi. i make a prediction. i think there will be a few democrats reluctant to vote for somebody involved what i think is a national security debacle. again, i've been on the other side of this when a republican administration is telling you everything is fine when it's not. >> [inaudible]. >> not yet, no. >> [inaudible].
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>> i don't know. again, that's all, you see all, as he said earlier, all these things are flying around. somebody was doing this, somebody was doing that and for example, there's this, the latest is interesting, is this person who was associated with general petraeus said, at some gathering there was two or three libyans being held in the safe house. now the cia has said that's just patently false. all these things are flying around and we don't know. that's why we need an investigation. last one. yeah? >> [inaudible] .
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>> well, first of all, i think that is a serious short coming. and i want to understand more about the circumstances of that, but it really calls into question the fact that he had that information and did not inform the, think about it, the senate intelligence chair, dianne feinstein was not informed. i think that is outrageous. i also think it is outrageous that the members of congress, those congressional committees, weren't informed and in any organization to have that level of allegation raised and not bring it up to the commander-in-chief to let him make the decision as to the nature of it and whether it jeopardized his leadership of such an important part of our government, i do think it is outrage just and i think it calls into question whether eric holder was playing politics with this. >> thank you very much. jenna: so we covered a lot of ground there. let's take a step back. here is what the senators are asking for, this having to do specifically with the terror attack on benghazi,
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on consulate there and not having to do with the ongoing investigation and discovery of what truly happened with general david petraeus and the scandal there happening in washington. here is what senator mccain, ayotte and graham want. they want to establish a select committee. you heard us talk a lot about the different committees are having hearings and talking to different individuals about what happened leading up to the terror attack in benghazi. what senator mccain and others are asking for to have a select committee to streamline the process. instead of hearing from a variety of different sources from closed-door, classified hearings, that lawmakers can gnat share information they are asking for a select committee that includes members from both parties, house and senate, to find out more about the terror attack in benghazi. this is the first request. we heard from lawmakers. it would have to go through a process before it would come to fruition. that is the news happening today, among other things
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about how this investigation into benghazi will move forward. rick: let's talk about this now with mary catherine ham who is editor-at-large of hot air.com. she's a fox news contributor. and chris kofinis, former chief of staff to west virgina senator joe manchin. good to see you both. a lot to take in having listened to the three senators, mary katherine, what do you think about this idea of a select committee to investigate what happened in benghazi? >> i think as you saw in the bush administration, lindsey graham referred to, there was select committee to deal with intelligence failures preiraq. i think that is a pretty reasonable request. i think when you have something that has this kind of level of sort of top secret information coming out, perhaps it is good to have everybody in one room talking about this. frankly, will date myself, in my lifetime no ambassador has been killed in the line of duty. so it is an outlying event. it is a very important event. there are four americans as i said who passed awas, who were killed in this event and there have been a lot of
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questions how it has been handled and how in the future you make sure on september 11th in a place that is clearly at risk we have profession in place and we don't leave those folks hanging sounds like in many reports they were. so getting to the bottom of that as the president says is one of his highest priorities. so seems like a reasonable way to do it. rick: chris, democrats have not had the sort of same sense of urgency that we've seen from republican lawmakers on getting to the bottom of benghazi. there were no democrats in that press conference we just watched who are on board with this idea of a select committee. how do you think this is going to go over with democrats on the hill? >> well, listen, in terms of democrats and concern for benghazi i don't initially agree with that. senator feinstein, a number of democratic senators raised questions and concerns about what happened in libya. that being said with respect to the select committee i think it is a little premature. you tend to have hearings on these issues even for example, with the 9/11 failure, you had, you know
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hearings and then you have a process at least to maybe a select committee if you have lingering questions that just can't get resolved. to me i think you want to wait, you have hearings in the house, hearings in the senate. wait to hear back what they say. then you do this in bipartisan fashion. i think one concern i had was seeing senator mccain and senator graham there. i understand they're passionate about this. i think it would have been better served if they maybe waited and also reached out to some democrats and got them on board before doing this. i think democrats will want to wait to hear what the committees say before they support this one way or the other. rick: mary katherine, what do you think about that. >> i don't think it is out of the realm of imagination that some democrats might be on board at some point. manchin among them and feinstein has been pretty strong on this issue. we'll see what happens in their negotiations in bringing this forward, but i do think, i believe during the bush administration didn't we have select committee on gas prices at one point which is important economic issue? nonetheless we're talking
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about a pretty serious failure of intelligence and that resulted in some very, very tragic results for america. so makes sense to me two senators and kelly ayotte as well, who are very intense and interested in national security would be interested in getting to the very bottom of this? frankly i think it's been a little upsetting to me many places only reason they're covering it because suddenly general petraeus is involved in sex scandal. i suppose if we get some light shown on this tragic situation because of that, then it would be nice to get to the bottom of this. rick: mary katharine ham, chris kofinis, thank you both. >> thank you. rick: senator bob corker of tennessee has been briefed by the state department on benghazi. he took part in a classified briefing before the senate foreign relations committee yesterday and he joins us now from the hill. good to see you, senator. what do you think about this idea of a something like that committee? would you behind that? >> i think some process to get everything in one time may be needed. as was mentioned there are a
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number of hearings taking place and maybe we can condense what needs to be looked at. look, there are lingering questions. this briefing we had yesterday and we had republicans and democrats, i can assure you as democrats heard our intelligence officials say without question, that they let this administration know in realtime, immediately that this absolutely was a terrorist attack, you could see their expressions of wonder how in the world the administration came out the way they did, five days later having their ambassador to the u.n. misleading the american people the way that she did? i have to tell you i heard the last dialogue, and i agree it would be great if some democrats came forward but i can assure you there are democrats have the same concerns dialing day one. how in the world can it be from real time our intelligence officials are telling people back here what has happened and somehow or another we mislead the american people the way that we did.
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i want to know the answer to that. i still don't understand how that is possible. rick: you don't understand, senator. you have been, you've got enaccess to classified information. you have been able to read documents no one else has been able to read documents that no one else has been able to been privy to. what have you learned from those briefings and documents? >> you know, i haven't learned as much from the briefings. if you remember, i actually went to libya after benghazi. i sat down and talked to the head cia person in the fbi. the other people on the ground. and i learned at that moment, but again, in real time, people back here knew what was happening. so it hasn't been particularly illuminating to me because i have had private conversations with clapper and secretary clinton and david petraeus. they have not been completely enlightening. i did go down last friday. i went through every cable that
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was provided and i can honestly say that i saw no smoking gun or nothing that, you know, really raise any alarms. i saw the search engine that they use to create the table displayed at a show. it is one that brought all of them. i go back to the very first question that i asked the very first day that i came out of the first briefing of the hat. this is a bizarre response. the way this communication has come forward. i would like to get to the bottom of this. i think it is incredibly important that when you have for americans who have been killed, four for americans who have risked their lives on behalf of all of us, it is important to understand why an administration chose to mislead the american people. this is actually an incident where the american people come together around these people. the policy outcome of all of this should be hell are we going to handle these expeditionary efforts that we have in
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countries like libya, where the host country does not have control of the country? where militias -- some are pro-western and some are very anti-western. some are infiltrated with al qaeda. how are we going to handle these missions in the future? that is the policy outcome that we all need to ascertain and come up with. in the interim, i think we all need to understand what happened. why we were being misled. was it incompetence? was a purposeful? that answer has still never come forth, and i want to know the answer. jon: was it a coverup or a screwup. that does seem to be the question. republicans senator bob corker. sir, hope to talk to you again soon. jenna: now we move on to this fox news alert. we are awaiting president obama's first news conference in several months. so many things on the table, including the economy, of course. blooming fiscal cliff. the president laying down a hard line on what he wants to see
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when it comes to taxes. of course, the fallout from the terror attack in benghazi is on the docket. this affair also in smearing america's top general in afghanistan. a lot to talk about today. our senior white house when it affairs correspondent is at the white house. we were talking about the election and the economy last week. the president had hoped to devote this week to the economy. how had his plans changed a little bit? reporter: you are right. he had planned a series of meetings aimed at showcasing his reelection. upper income tax cuts, he met with labor leaders yesterday, business leaders he will meet with today after today's news conference, which will be his first since last march. it all leads up to friday's negotiations with the leaders of the house and senate. they have until the end of year to the year to come up with a deficit reduction plan to avoid across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts that could trigger a recession.
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mitch mcconnell dozen by the president's claim that voters endorse a tax increase to do that. >> while voters have given him a second term, they have also given those of us in congress the power and the duty to ensure that he uses that wisely. and that is, of course, what we intend to do. reporter: republicans are suggesting tax reform, but there may not be time for that to happen before the end of your. jenna: the news conference is happening little bit over an hour from now. wendell, thank you very much. jon: fox can now confirm that general david petraeus from the former director of the cia, has agreed to testify to congress on the benghazi terror attacks. what will he say now that he is no longer in charge at the spy agency? plus, no doubt you have heard us talk about the fiscal cliff. what happens if the president and the congress strike out when they try to strike a deal?
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"the wall street journal"'s david russell joins us. >> how will this all end? will it take for them to just talk about the deficit to doing something about the deficit. perhaps an artificial crisis like the fiscal cliff. or it could take an outbreak of leadership. i don't know which one is the least likely. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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jenna: we are waiting to hear from president obama. we want to hear what he has to say including the scandals involving general david petraeus and general john allen. as we have been reporting, general david petraeus is offering to give voluntary testimony before congress. lawmakers want to uncover, as you just heard during the live press conference, why the attacks happened. why the administration handled the aftermath way they did. joining us now is a former fbi
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supervisor agent. he is author of a book that you see on your screen there. he was on the ground after the uss cole attack. now you are coming in as a supervising agent. investigating what happened. what is the malaria -- what similarities and differences are there with uss cole and after benghazi? >> with uss cole we lost 17 sailors. with benghazi, it is difficult to find a legitimate partner in benghazi. in yemen we had the difficulty, too. but i think that we were able to identify those who were involved and were able to interrogate them and get instructions from them. we were able to link investigation for the terrorist attack. we were able to identify the suicide bombers.
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one thing i know about the fbi's that they are brilliant and putting the pieces of the investigation together. i am sure we will be able to know exactly what happened. and the people that were involved. jenna: at times have changed since the attack at the uss cole and what happened in benghazi. have you read about the interrogation techniques that have been used to get to the truth? >> sure, i have. actually, i read each and every one of of these suspects malinda are better right than we were able to get confession from them. jenna: so you expect a similar pattern in libya. how crucial do you think general petraeus is in his testimony to the truth?
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>> it is bigger than a the director. the cia's bigger than a director. i am not surprised that general petraeus volunteered to testify. he's a great leader and i think he was standing up for the challenge. i think they will probably have from a technical standpoint -- what can he handle now speaker that is and has been interesting. jenna: now he doesn't have that. how does that impact the? >> usually the the director of the cia's breed. that brief is very highly classified. i don't people can actually discuss this kind of thing and read him before he testified. these are technical issues, democratic issues, but important issues. i am sure smart people will be
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working for him. jenna: there has been so much speculation over the last several weeks about tension between the fbi and the cia. that has come up with the benghazi investigation and coming up with scandal. what can you tell us about that? >> i don't see the whole issue of being fbi versus cia. i think they work great together domestically and internationally. i don't think the issue has anything to do with the rivalry between the two. jenna: is there a rivalry? >> it seems to be, but under the new leadership in the cia and director robert mueller -- jenna: is there enough cooperation? >> i think so. they have been working together overseas. i think the situation is a lot better than it used to be before. jenna: we will ask you why you left the fbi. let's talk you about the bigger issues. while we are distracted on this, there are a lot of things
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happening in the shadows across the globe that we need to pay attention to. a couple of shocking scandals rocked washington, our enemies are still very much a work. we are at war now. it is shocking that we even have to remind ourselves about this. the hotspots and what we should be doing. we will be back right after the break
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al-assad's regime. then you have regional conflict that is going on. this is between iran and turkey. turkey is supporting the iranian people and iran is supporting the regime. you also have to look at it on a different level. where you have russia and china also involved on global levels with the syrian conflict. it is becoming a war of shadows and a war of different phones.
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the problem with that is that syria is a multicultural society. you have the christians and shiites and sunnis so if a civil war took place in syria, with all of these entities fighting with each other, that is still into the entire region. you will see it in lebanon and we will see an indication that the syrian conflict is still into lebanon. also, there is about 20 million involved in the clan and that's that. jenna: this has been going back for centuries. how we engage with that? remapped welcome of, the problem that has been happening today in syria, there is no one to fill the vacuum of bashar al-assad's
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falling. the new coalition of the opposition -- the syrian opposition, they get together and they elected a leader. that leadership is not a leadership that has been outside syria for 20 years. it is for people who actually were in syria until recently. jenna: there are questions about that leadership and whether it is genuine or whether or not it is the second in command, the muslim brotherhood member is someone that should be looked at again. thomas friedman makes this argument today that america should fill the vacuum. do you agree? >> i don't think it's the role of the united states to go into another arab and muslim country. syria is going to be way worse than iraq. it needs to be monitored. i think the new coalition is a positive move. i think that the next step is to see that coalition is going to have the support of the faction of the syrian army. the syrian army is not, you
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know, unified organization. jenna: let's go bigger while we have a quick moment. there were forces at work that did not want america in benghazi. we saw different things across the middle east where there is an anti-american sentiment. this continues. is it never-ending? >> i agree with you 100%. this is scary. we have a lot of stuff against al qaeda and the organization effectiveness in 9/11. bin laden and his group. but this has been spreading around. jenna: you think it's more powerful than before? 's remapped absolutely. jenna: some say there are no major attacks. >> that is what they said in 1996 war in 1998 -- people are saying that there was no terrorist attack.
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now, you see an area that let her leave the size of france with its affiliates. you see them training individuals and groups is a problem. you see trying to wriggle itself. jenna: are there some areas that we haven't heard a lot about? as we continue to watch this story in benghazi, let's have you back to talk about some of the areas you mentioned and why we need to pay attention. it's great to have you. >> thank you. jon: taking out a key military
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figure in hamas. why one leader predicts this is just the beginning of the violence. big european cities,, spending cuts in the face of government debt. debt. live in london and coming up p. next. new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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rick: fox news alert. palestinian president mahmoud abbas is reportedly know calling for an emergency meeting of the arab league after today's airstrikes by israel into gaza. these strikes hitting hamas targets all across the
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region, killing one of the group's top military commanders. now an israeli military spokesman is predicting days of fighting with the palestinians. leland vittert is live in israel near the border with gaza. what is going on, leland? >> reporter: right now, according to hamas militant organization they have quote, opened the gates of hell. there has been a declaration of war they say about the israelis by this airstrike. israelis providing video of the moment they killed ahmed jabari, the lead are of hamas militant tant wing. many are comparing assassination of him as nating usama bin laden. israelis launched operation cloud of pillar which is targeted assassination of number of hamas militants and islamic jihad and going off their warehouses which have a number of mass weapon storage facilities. we're here talking right now there are dozens of
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airstrikes going on over the gaza strip. large fireballs coming up from inside gaza. and they say a cloud of pillar will go on for a number we of days. this began a week ago as the militants inside gaza launched 160 rockets towards southern israel. there are 800,000 people who have to take shelter inside all sorts of bomb shelters in their house. also out in the street. it is completely stopped life here in southern israel. and this is israel's response which they say will go on for a number about of days. it was about four years ago to the day that israel launched operation led which they went into gaza with ground troops and tanks. israelis are saying their ground forces including tanks and also infantry soldiers are on standby to once again launch an operation into gaza. here in southern israel school has been canceled for tomorrow as have a number of other things including work, any type of wedding, any type of gathering just because how scared everyone
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is of this possible hamas retaliation which hamas says could begin at any moment. rick, back to you. rick: leland vittert on the ground in southern israel. leland, thanks. jenna: right now on our top story the investigation into the terror attack in benghazi killing our ambassador there and three other americans. senator john mccain speaking moments ago after a closed-door briefing. take a listen. >> we will be introducing this afternoon a resolution that would establish such a select committee and we will urge the senate leadership to act on it as soon as possible. jenna: chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge continues to follow this story and has more for us now. catherine. >> reporter: thank you, jenna. there are growing calls on capitol hill for either a select committee or special panel to investigate the benghazi scandal. there are three tracks to this investigation. there are the warnings, the requests for security that were denied before the consulate attack. there are the administration's statements that it was a chem station that spun out of control in response to the anti-islam video which conflicted with
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the available intelligence. and now whether former cia director david petraeus's statements to congress about the attack were in any way impacted by the knowledge he was the focus of an fbi investigation for his affair with biographer paula broadwell. >> the party in power never likes to have a select committee. but i'm hopeful that the american people will demand it and, i am guardedly optimistic that they will achieve that goal. the families deserve it among other people. >> reporter: fox news was first to report on september 13th that the fbi and the national counter air trism center the nation's hub for threat analysis briefed lawmakers on telephone intercepts the evidence supported al qaeda or al qaeda affiliated attack. there was no mention of the anti-islam video or emfasis on a demonstration outside the consulate. following day on september 14th, cia director petraeus told lawmakers that the
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attack was akin to flashmob. they were so disappointed that the -- attacks were a demonstration spun out of control in response to this video which was in conflict with the raw intelligence reporting and the statements of the fbi and ntct. >> the documents that we see that the cia had, the information they had, prior to general petraeus coming in, that's impossible to believe that he thought he was giving us honest testimony. >> reporter: through his personal contacts the general has insisted that his resignation was not in any way connected to the benghazi scandal, jenna. jenna: more on this when we get it. catherine, thank you. >> reporter: you're welcome. rick: we've been talking a lot about the looming fiscal cliff. that what happens if there is no deal and there is a chance that could happen. "the wall street journal"'s david wessel joins us coming up. >> we could go over the cliff. taxes would lurch upwards, spending would be cut blindly. it is not as unlikely as it
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may seem. >> if you have a big tax hikes and big cut in government spending when you're close to recession i think the cumulative negative impact would be to lop two to 4% off gdp growth next year. therefore it would definitely put us into recession.
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rick: "happening now", we hear it all the time, if democrats and republicans don't come to a deal america will go over the so-called fiscal cliff. you may know that the cliff consists of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that could plunge the economy into a deep recession but what exactly would happen and how would it affect your family, your finances? "the wall street journal" breaks it all down in a video tutorial. >> last august president obama and congress did something really unusual. they built a fiscal cliff, a cliff as perilous as this one. and they put the u.s. economy on course to go over this cliff at the end of the
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year unless they come up with some alternative way to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. rick: that was david wessel. he is "the wall street journal"'s economics editor and author of, in fed we trust, and red ink. he joins us live. good to see you, david. i watched your video. it is more like a horror movie if you don't mind me saying. >> it was a nature shot. rick: if there's no deal we all jump off this cliff together, right? >> that's right. so what happens is, first of all, it's not like the government turns out the light and the government shuts down but what does happen is that taxes will go up for almost everybody. and spending will be cut, not in ways that affect the average social security or medicare beneficiary but in ways that affect various government agencies. if it only lasts a few weeks it will be really painful and disruptive but it won't cause a recession. but the congressional budget office tells us if they go
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over the cliff and stay there it could be really devastating to the economy. rick: for the typical family, how would they feel it? >> well the first thing we'll have to see what is the treasury do about the amount of money taken out of our paychecks. what they're supposed to do is change the withholding tables to reflect the fact that tax rates are going up. now they can play some games and delay that for a while, but that was something that really working people will feel right away. secondly there is something called the alternative minimum tax which is very complicated, that only affects about four million people. but the irs says that unless congress changes the law it will reach much more deeply into the middle class and 28 million more americans will owe more money for this year, for 2012. and third, inevitably, there will be some closing of government offices. we'll be told that certain paperwork won't be processed and stuff like that. those will be the most tangible effects. but there is one more thing. in my opinion, and this is
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an opinion, if congress can't cut a deal with the president, if we go over the cliff, this will really shake up the financial markets and i expect that the financial markets will react in a way that hurts our own investments, our portfolios and erodes confidence in the ability of the american political system to function. that could be really devastating. rick: during the campaign the president was asked about this during one of the debates. he said we're not going over the cliff. the sequestration is not going to happen. so let's be optimistic for a moment because the president won re-election. let's say that there is a deal. let's say that cuts are agreed to. what are the most likely areas, the least painful where the cuts may take place? >> well i don't think this is going to be pain-free. despite what you might have been told during the campaign by both candidates that somehow, someone else was going to have their benefits cut and someone else's taxes will go up, that is not likely. seems to me the most likely
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thing that will happen, upper income people will pay more in taxes and medicare will be changed in a way that saves money. over time. those are the two things that will be almost essential for any real deal. but there will be a whole host of other government programs. some of them, government services. some of them other benefits besides medicare, that will be less generous if we actually get a deal that reduces the deficit. rick: i've been covering washington for a long time. how does this play out? >> that's a good question. you know i feel like i'm watching a play and the playwrite is still writing the script so no one knows what the last act is. my guess until now at the last minute and congress and the president will avert a cliff. perhaps not doing a really deficit deal, a phoney gimmick-ridden deal but they won't go over it. i'm not so confident about that now. i'mgy beginning to think both sides think it is to their advantage to go over the cliff and cut a deal
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there. insiders, i talk to say there is 40% we'll go over the cliff. outsidersings both in the business community and in the public think it is much higher than that, more like 60 or 70% we go over the cliff for a few weeks before we find some resolution. rick: david wessel, economics editor of "the wall street journal" owned by the same parent company of this network. the video you made prior to the election still holds up in many ways. very interesting and i urge people to check it out at wsj.com. david, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. jenna: we're less than an hour away from the president's first news conference since winning the election. he wanted to talk about the economy but there are plenty of big issues that the white house press corps wants to tackle as well. we'll bring the presser to you live in little less than an hour as we mentioned. soccer superstar hope solo at the center of a domestic assault case. police arresting her boyfriend just before the two were set to get married. we have the latest next.
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[shouting]. jenna: violent clashes across europe today. riot police battling protesters as workers in a number of major cities like madrid hold general strikes. they're fighting against spending cuts. a number of european countries are forced to raise taxes and reduce spending to overcome huge debt. that strategy might sound familiar to you. amy kellogg is watching this from the london bureau with more. amy? >> reporter: jenna, this is kind of a vicious cycle. these strikers are saying enough is enough. they feel all the austerity cuts are actually stymieing growth in the eurozone. one protester today said we need to leave something behind for our children but obviously at this point anyway, there is nothing.
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now in spain despite the cuts the economy will shrink 1.5% this year. iberia, the airline, just cut 4500 jobs. one of the major papers is laying off a quarter of its staff. the government stepped in to stop evictions of people who can't pay their mortgages after two people killed themselves when they learned that they would be forced out of their homes. now in italy, there were demonstrations up and undo the country. some of them also got quite violent. students were protesting, specifically cuts to education. strikers would like austerity measures eased all around, especially as there is some evidence so far that these cuts have not done much to pay down debt. growth is still low if it exists at all across-countries in the eurozone. here in the u.k., estimates for next year have been downgraded to a mere 1%. output in the eurozone factories took its biggest dive in a long time in december, falling 2% overall. there is not much chance that governments are going
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to back down even in the face of all of these protests. portugal did in fact have to backtrack at one point on pay cuts but made up for that by raising taxes. an example of pain in portugal, lisbon university, has had its budget cut 50% in the past few years. another 10% is many looking. that is threatening the very existence of the institution. and in greece today, there were protests as well, jenna. youth unemployment in greece now, 58%. all of these problems over here affecting the u.s. economy of course because exports to europe are down. so the dent in purchasing power here is affecting the economy. back in america. jenna. jenna: underscores the importance of our debate over the fiscal cliff as well. amy, thank you. rick: u.s. women's soccer team goalkeeper hope solo, allegedly the victim of domestic violence. police arresting her boyfriend the day berp they were to get married. patti ann browne is live. >> reporter: the story is
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sketchy. hope solo and football player jeremy stephens were planning to get married yesterday. that didn't happen. stevens, a former tight end for the seattle seahawks was arrested monday on suspicion of domestic violence. but he was released after a court appearance yesterday which the judge said there was not enough evidence to hold him. it happened in kirkland, washington, a sub bausch of seattle. solo's 34-year-old brother called 911 to report a fight at party. marcus solo said there was physical altercation involving eight people and he use ad stun gun on one of them. solo, the 33-year-old woman's goal cooper had a cut on her elbow. a man had multiple contusions bumps and scrapes. lieutenant mike murray said the intoxicated partygoers did not cooperate with police. but when cops searched the house they found 33-year-old jeremy stevens hiding on the floor behind a bed in an upstairs room. the officer said there was dried blood on his shirt and
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signs of a fight. stevens admitted arguing with hope solo apparently where the two would live after the wedding. police say they had probable cause to arrest stevens for fourth degree assault. stevens's lawyer disagrees. >> there was no evidence at all, zero, to indicate she had been assaulted and certainly no evidence assaulted by mr. stevens and the judge agreed. >> we take domestic violence assault very serious. >> reporter: hope solo was in court for her fiance's appearance and gave no comment. the investigation into this incident continues. rick: patti ann browne, thank you in the newsroom. jenna: her punishment standing on a sidewalk holding a sign that reads, only an idiot would, dot, dot, dot. we'll fill in the blank after the break.
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this. jenna: this is a good lesson that someone is always watching.
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an ohio woman that we told you about had to repeat her punishment for driving on a sidewalk to speed past a school bus. she was sentenced to holding a sign that said only an idiot would drive past a school bus on the sidewalk. you can see what she did in this video. she just went on the sidewalk. isn't that lame? you can't do that. rick: only an idiot would do that. jenna: she smoked the entire time that she was holding that sign and chatted on her cell phone. so he made her do a second day. she was seen quietly standing with her sign. rick: only an idiot would smoke and talk on her cell phone with her sign. thank you for joining us, everybody. jenna: "america live" starts right now. megyn: for the first time in more than eight months, president obama goes face-to-face with the white house press corps one week

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